Maggie’s Kitchen is the debut novel of Caroline Beecham and she is out and about on the internet promoting the release with a Blog Tour, and we are lucky enough to be one of her stops.
Sit back and take a look inside Caroline’s life, career and new release Maggie’s Kitchen. Then be sure to check out the other stops on the tour.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I grew up at the English seaside before going to university in London and then working in film and television, initially in the UK, and then also in the US and Canada. I have worked as a writer, producer, or director on a wide range of projects including a lifestyle series on cooking for children, documentaries for major broadcasters, travel series for Discovery and National Geographic, a music series for Channel Ten, and a feature film about finding the end of the Rainbow.
In 2002 I joined SBS on a series called ‘If Only…’ about turning points in people’s lives. I suppose ‘Maggie’s Kitchen’ has been a bit of a turning point for me since it’s given me new opportunities and experiences and created a love of novel-writing.
What made you want to be a novelist?
I didn’t know that I wanted to be a novelist. When I started an MA in Creative Writing at UTS in 2005 it was to write non-fiction, but it turned out that half of the course was fiction, so I discovered a new way of storytelling where I could use my imagination but still research real stories about people and places, which is a part of the process that I really enjoy.
Can you tell us a little about the novel, Maggie’s Kitchen?
‘Maggie’s Kitchen’ is a novel inspired by real events from the Second World War. It follows the fortunes of Maggie Johnson as she struggles to open and run a British Restaurant during the blitz.
It was a long-held dream for Maggie to run a restaurant with her fiancé, before he was killed, so when the Ministry of Food asks for cooks to set up British Restaurants the grieving Maggie is reluctant to volunteer. Then she meets twelve-year old runaway Robbie; evacuated to the countryside with his mother and sisters he keeps returning to London, wanting to be there for his dad when he comes home from war.
Armed with only her passion for cooking, best friend Eliza, cousin Rose, and Janek, a Polish refugee longing to join the resistance and rescue the loved ones he left behind, Maggie embarks upon the challenge of finding and opening a restaurant. With Janek’s help they set about conjuring appetising meals from rationed ingredients and Robbie finds ingenious ways to forage food. However, success is short-lived and the real difficulties begin when Mr Boyle threatens to close them for not complying with Ministry rules…
Please read the full interview here: